RICHMOND, VA, March 28, 2022 – President Biden has announced that Perry Hickman has been appointed as Rural Development State Director in Virginia. He officially assumes this role today. State Directors serve as the chief executive officer of Rural Development in the states and territories and are tasked with carrying out the mission of rural development to the benefit of everyone in rural America. In conjunction with the guidance and support of the National Office, State Directors are responsible for promoting the mission and strategic goals of Rural Development and provide key leadership to develop and support a productive, diverse, and inclusive state workforce.
“I am thrilled to welcome these talented and experienced public servants to USDA at a critical time in the Biden-Harris administration,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “I look forward to working alongside these individuals to build a better America.”
USDA Rural Development State Director Perry Hickman said, “I am truly honored to be appointed by President Biden and serving as USDA Rural Development’s State Director of Virginia. Rural Development is a great partner for ensuring economic prosperity throughout rural Virginia. In fiscal year 2021, RD Virginia invested more than $2 billion through various programs impacting rural municipalities, rural business, and those who call rural Virginia home. I look forward to speaking with our customers and stakeholders, and to surpassing that amount in fiscal year 2022. I am grateful to be given this opportunity and I will continue to work with Virginia rural communities to meet their housing, community, infrastructure, and business development needs.”
Perry M. Hickman grew up in Tappahannock, Virginia, and still resides in this small rural community. Hickman is a 1985 graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University and received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration and Management with a concentration in Real Estate and Urban Land Development.
Mr. Hickman has more than 20 years of combined sales experience in mortgage lending and telecommunications services. Hickman started his federal career with USDA Rural Development in April 2008, and he has primarily worked in the Rural Development Community Programs division to assist rural municipalities, non-profit corporations, and Tribal entities that seek federal financial assistance to enhance their ability to provide essential services for the orderly development of a rural community. Hickman has been a Rural Development National Office Senior Loan Specialist where he planned Public, Private, Partnership (P3) events with commercial lenders and other private sector partners. Annually, these P3 events accounted for obligating more than $200 million of congressionally appropriated funds through the Rural Development Community Facilities Direct Loan Program. As the Virginia Community Programs Director, Mr. Hickman managed a $750 million portfolio.
USDA Rural Development has a State Office in Richmond, and four Area Offices located in Wytheville, Lynchburg, Harrisonburg, and Courtland. Currently, there are 52 full-time staff who serve Virginia’s agricultural producers, rural communities, businesses, and residents.
Under the Biden-Harris Administration, Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities, create jobs, and improve the quality of life for millions of Americans in rural areas. This assistance supports infrastructure improvements; business development; housing; community facilities such as schools, public safety, and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural, Tribal, and high-poverty areas. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov. If you’d like to subscribe to USDA Rural Development updates, visit our GovDelivery subscriber page.
USDA touches the lives of all Americans each day in so many positive ways. Under the Biden-Harris Administration, USDA is transforming America’s food system with a greater focus on more resilient local and regional food production, ensuring access to healthy and nutritious food in all communities, building new markets and streams of income for farmers and producers using climate, smart food and forestry practices, making historic investments in infrastructure and clean energy capabilities in rural America, and committing to equity across the Department by removing systemic barriers and building a workforce more representative of America. To learn more, visit www.usda.gov.
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